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Hallmark's 'Deck The Halls' Ornament Replaces 'Gay' with 'Fun' Just So Nobody's Confused

Hallmark, the card-and-gift company for all things festive and merry, has released an image of a new ornament for the 2013 holiday season. The ornament, in the shape of a sweater, has a lyric from the classic "Deck the Halls," but one word has been clearly omitted and replaced. Rather than donning "gay apparel," the clothes are now simply "fun." 

The change in lyrics was reportedly made to promote clearer understanding of the song in a modern-day context.

HallmarksweaterHuffPost reports:

A spokeswoman for Hallmark said the line was intentionally changed to prevent misinterpretation by holiday shoppers.

"When the lyrics to 'Deck the Halls' were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word 'gay' meant festive or merry," Kristi Ernsting told The Huffington Post in an email. "Today it has multiple meanings ... the trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, so the planning team decided to say what we meant: 'fun.'"

She added: "That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it."

Do you take offense at the sweater's alterations? Or is it okay for Hallmark to reframe "Deck the Halls" for a modern audience?

Photo via Hallmark.

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Comments

  1. I find it unnecessary and homophobic. People who are too stupid to know the difference between GAY and "don we now our GAY apparel" should be ignored.

    Posted by: Drummond | Oct 29, 2013 12:55:06 PM


  2. I think this is a heavy contender for the ugliest Christmas sweater contest!

    Posted by: rcndc | Oct 29, 2013 12:58:06 PM


  3. The reality is that if they used the word "gay", nobody would buy the item except gay people, except perhaps as a joke.

    Of course, they probably should have just come up with a different product idea than inviting controversy and bad publicity with their actions, but people don't always think these things through.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 29, 2013 12:58:53 PM


  4. Stupid. I think we're all intelligent enough to suss the difference in usages of the word "gay".

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 29, 2013 1:00:54 PM


  5. I wouldn't buy one obviously because I'm not gay. Also because I'd have no one to laugh about it with. My family doesn't have me around for the holidays due to my sinful nature and I certainly don't have any friends to celebrate with due to the fact that I think they're sinful.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 29, 2013 1:02:10 PM


  6. For me, the sole effect of "Don we now our gay apparel" simply puts the melody in my head. The effect of "Don we now our fun apparel" just makes me think "Gay, gay gay! They're afraid of the word 'gay!'"

    Posted by: James in Hollywood | Oct 29, 2013 1:05:22 PM


  7. Someone at Hallmark didn't think this through. They have every right to change the word "gay" to "fun", and I have the right not to buy it. They could have avoided most of the controversy by making two versions. One with the word "gay" one with the word "fun", so that consumers had a choice of what word they wanted. Traditionalists (including me) will want "gay", others may want "fun".

    A good retailer gives the people what they want. Now it's them against us. Not very bright Hallmark.

    Posted by: Howard | Oct 29, 2013 1:09:50 PM


  8. Some straight people are obsessed with the word gay.

    Posted by: MM | Oct 29, 2013 1:10:09 PM


  9. I don't think they're gonna make anyone happy with this one. Yes "GAY" has more than one meaning, but none of them would be considered offensive.

    Posted by: e.c. | Oct 29, 2013 1:11:30 PM


  10. If there trying to get rid of archaic words why did the keep "don"?

    Posted by: woody | Oct 29, 2013 1:18:15 PM


  11. We should start calling ourselves "fun" and ruin the Hallmark marketing department's brilliant plan.

    Posted by: woody | Oct 29, 2013 1:20:35 PM


  12. Holy crap! I didn't know my father was working for Hallmark! This is the word he used instead of gay (well, funny was the actual word.

    Except when he wasn't calling me a "swish" which was a totally cute word for a male Steward that he learned during his days working for TWA in the 1960's....

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Oct 29, 2013 1:27:58 PM


  13. SMH. At least they could have used an actual synonym. Gay in that context does not equal fun. Fan can be the source of one's gay feeling. Very lame.

    Posted by: Critifur | Oct 29, 2013 1:29:37 PM


  14. Ironic the kept the archaic words "Don" and "Apparel" but not gay. Yeah, I "don" my "apparel" ...said no one ever.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Oct 29, 2013 1:29:54 PM


  15. I wonder how Hallmark decided it would be easier for customers to explain why the word "fun" is there rather than why the word "gay" is. Either way will raise questions, and it seems to me that the only one guaranteed to bring up a discussion of anti-gay animus is the former. The latter is easily dismissed with a simple "Gay also means fun."

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER I | Oct 29, 2013 1:31:12 PM


  16. No, I do not take offense. I don't spend much time thinking about idiots.

    Posted by: Ricco | Oct 29, 2013 1:32:39 PM


  17. Are the Flintstones now having a "Fun ol' time" instead of a "gay ol' time"?

    Posted by: QJ201 | Oct 29, 2013 1:34:51 PM


  18. Who is Don?

    Posted by: Jeff | Oct 29, 2013 1:43:08 PM


  19. I find the change uncalled for. It takes away the seriousness of when the word gay is used in an offensive manner. Seriously Hallmark, you are mocking hate speech. With the all the options online, there's no need to visit your local Hallmark store.

    Posted by: Christopher | Oct 29, 2013 1:54:56 PM


  20. Well… the alternative was the ornament of "Grandma go run over by a reindeer"…

    Posted by: Rad | Oct 29, 2013 1:55:24 PM


  21. Hallmark with their cards and sappy TV movies has always been conservative. I am a subscriber to their on-line -E-Card site and there are no greeting cards to send s-s couples getting married. DOMA was struck down, now with N.J., 34% of Americans live in states that have s-s marriage. Hallmark should become inclusive but I think they are afraid of offending their "family values" customer base. A boycott of Hallmark is certainly something I could support.

    Posted by: shanestud | Oct 29, 2013 1:56:33 PM


  22. Well, guess that it is "politically correct", however I sort of enjoyed the DOUBLE ENTENDRE. Especially with people that were so out of it that they REALLY did not know what the word GAY meant now. Seriously, I once had a very elderly great aunt who used to crack me up every Christmas with singing "don we now our gay apparel" ♪♫ around her house. Then again she used to shake the cord of a just used vacuum before putting it away to "remove all the electricity" . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 29, 2013 2:01:42 PM


  23. The next logical step is to eliminate "we" since that suggests "wee" and that leads to shame over be dwetting or--shudder-- encouraging water sports.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Oct 29, 2013 2:11:55 PM


  24. Beyond silly. Next they'll have to 'update' fa la la la la la la la la. 'A spokeswoman for Hallmark said the line was intentionally changed to prevent misinterpretation by holiday shoppers.' I can quite believe that. They expect sales to be poor because anti Gay bigots wouldn't buy their sweater (ugly or not) with the word gay on it. Seems American conservatives have the same agenda as the Russians in mind when they forbid homosexual propaganda.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Oct 29, 2013 2:14:13 PM


  25. Beyond silly. Next they'll have to 'update' fa la la la la la la la la. 'A spokeswoman for Hallmark said the line was intentionally changed to prevent misinterpretation by holiday shoppers.' I can quite believe that. They expect sales to be poor because anti Gay bigots wouldn't buy their sweater (ugly or not) with the word gay on it. Seems American conservatives have the same agenda as the Russians in mind when they forbid homosexual propaganda.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Oct 29, 2013 2:14:13 PM


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